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Silent EVs in HK - vs traffic safety

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by DITB, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Using the search function, I just replied to this thread:

    #17

    What do you think of the potential impact of near-silent vehicles in HK?

    Although not the worst place in the world, sound does play an important role here. As so many people are walking around with their head buried in their smart phone, it's a matter of time before Apple Daily write about how an evil, silent electric car caused the death of a texting teenager. Or similar. And EVs will be blamed, just as they are blamed for fires, lack of range and many other things.

    Whether or not you think it's peoples own fault when they don't see where they are going, it will be more and more of a problem as the number of EVs in HK will increase dramatically, starting this summer. No matters who's fault it is, if some adaptive and intelligent sound generating system can prevent injury and death, I am all for it.

    I for one, want something which is either automatic, or that I can activate on demand - to make people discretely but efficiently aware of the presence of a vehicle, without having to honk at them.
     
  2. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    If you don't want to use your horn, just turn your music up!
     
  3. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    If you are travelling at speed, the road noise is sufficient. Problem is low speed. But, it is the responsibility of the driver not to hit pedestrians, equally as the other way round. Issue I see is car parks, and turning your lights on makes a big difference.
     
  4. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Have you never had anyone flip on their heels and cross the road in front of your Roadster, because the silence made them think there were no cars around? I don't know how many km you did in your Roadster so far, Mark, but I am curious how you experienced driving an EV in HK so far.

    No matter how responsible you try to be, you cannot be expected to predict any sudden movement by every pedestrian, biker or other vehicle around you. Having some kind of buzz to you at low speed would leave a presence, and as I wrote in my comment, it should adjust it's sound level to time of day, driving style (city vs highway), ambient sound level and so on. All automatically, with a OFF-OUT-ON option for sure.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another thing, from having been riding motorcycles for many years, is that people often don't appreciate the acceleration. That could be an issue also with the Tesla, as people cross in front of you thinking you are just an ICE, so one has to be careful here also! ICE cars with good acceleration performance will usually roar quite clearly when flooring it, and while the Tesla also makes a sound when you floor it, it doesn't sound at all the same.
     
  5. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    We have a Prius V and when traveling slowing electric mode we just go slow and take care. It's no big deal.
     
  6. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Driving Tesla roadster for almost 3 years, 33,000+ km driven. Before that Prius for 5+ years.

    Yep, pedestrians regularly walk in front of me and don't know I am there. Same for the Prius before that. Same for the Land Rover before that. I actually had a pedestrian walk off the sidewalk and straight into the **side** of my Land Rover - thankfully I was only going 10kph or so. Bottom line is that pedestrians in HK are generally ignorant of traffic and behave like lemmings.

    The problem with noise makers is where do you draw the line? EVs - ok. Hybrids? Start/Stop engine cars? Quiet cars? Bicycles? Electric wheelchairs? Prams and push chairs?

    So long as pedestrians are allowed to wear earphones/headsets, putting noisemakers in cars is ridiculous.

    What would be useful would be : a) auto-lights for car parks, b) an optional quiet horn (for politely informing pedestrians you are there).
     
  7. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Quiet horn - I like that!

    I think I know what you mean, but when you read it, it looks counter-intuitive :tongue:
     
  8. CCT

    CCT Member

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    I highly recommend those Japanese train station melodies...LOVE IT!
     
  9. ekwng

    ekwng Member

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  10. strider

    strider Active Member

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    The bottom line is that we have had hybrid cars for many years now and they are silent at low speed (well, I can hear the motors) and there is no data I am aware of that shows that there are higher incidents of hybrid-pedestrian accidents than any other kind of car. All carmakers try to make their premium sedans as quiet as possible such that you would not be able to hear a (non-AMG) Mercedes idling out of a parking spot either.

    Also in Hong Kong you will be running the A/C a lot and those fans make plenty of noise - same as in an ICE with its A/C on.
     
  11. Titus

    Titus Member

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    I almost ordered a wireless door bell from Amazon as recommended by guys in the US forum sections; put the door bell in the frunk and use the remote as a friendly alternative to using the horn LOL

    But after driving it for 3 weeks, I'm surprised how almost everyone knows I'm driving up behind them, even more so than my previous hybrid. The motor makes an audible whine and tires certainly make enough sound for people to notice; unless they're wearing headphones in which case even if you drive an ICE car it wouldn't help.
     
  12. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    I am guessing you have a D then. The front motor does make a bit of a "turbine whine". Although it sounds cool in a way, it's also less silent than the non-D models.
     
  13. icemankaka

    icemankaka Member

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    I like this :) showing how immaterial it is as an EV
     
  14. Mikischu

    Mikischu Member

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    Make my car sound like the flying cars in the Jetsons!

    Also be careful around Hopewell Centre. Walking around the corner of the carpark can be dangerous with so many quiet Tesla prowling for a charge.
     
  15. wombat

    wombat Member

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    #15 wombat, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    i'll just leave this here...

     
  16. lx3h

    lx3h Charged.hk TSLA Grp Rep

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    #16 lx3h, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Awesome, love that Andre is living a happy life
     

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